Mary Cunningham Agee
President and Founder of the Nurturing Network, Corporate Strategic Planner, Charitable Entrepreneur, Best-selling Author, Devoted Wife and Mother
Mary Cunningham Agee is the Founder and President of the Nurturing Network, an international charitable organization that has provided a positive alternative to abortion to women facing thecrisis of an unplanned pregnancy. Since 1985, the Network has specialized in offering an individually-tailored program of practical support free of charge to college students and working women all over the world.
The Nurturing Network’s 52,000 Resource Members are located in all 50 states and in 30 foreign countries where they have offered counseling, medical services, nurturing homes, employment, educational opportunities and financial assistance. Setting politics and rhetoric aside, the Network has provided for the urgent and practical needs of over 25,000 women. Each has been empowered to nurture her child's life . . . without compromising her own.
For thirty years, Mrs. Agee has also served as President of Semper Charitable Foundation, a family foundation that contributes to a wide variety of worthy missions. She is a general partner in Semper Partners, a venture capital and strategy consulting firm founded in partnership with her husband. She is President and CEO of the family boutique wine business: Aurea Estate Wines, Inc.
Mrs. Agee has served in the top management of two Fortune 100 companies as the Vice President of Strategic Planning. As a result of her successful efforts in the development of a worldwide wine strategy for Joseph E. Seagram and Sons, she was promoted to the position of Executive Vice President of the Seagram Wine Company. She also served as Vice President of Strategic Planning for the Bendix Corporation.
Mrs. Agee’s international banking experience also includes serving as Assistant Treasurer in the Corporate Banking Department of the Chase Manhattan Bank World Headquarters and as a Financial Analyst in the Corporate Finance Department of Salomon Brothers.
Education and Degrees:
Mrs. Agee graduated in 1979 from the Harvard Business School with a Master's Degree in Finance and International Business. She was appointed to the highly-selective Century Club and was a finalist for the Copeland Marketing Award. She graduated with Honors from Wellesley College where she majored in Logic and Philosophy and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She was nominated twice for a Danforth Fellowship and received a Slater fellowship for advanced study in Law, Ethics and Political Philosophy at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.
Mrs. Agee has been awarded Honorary Doctoral degrees from Franciscan University of Steubenville, Loyola University Maryland, Stonehill College, Franklin Pierce College, Chestnut Hill College, Notre Dame College and the Dominican School of Philosophy & Theology at Berkeley.
Mary Cunningham Agee is the President and CEO of the Nurturing Network, Aurea Estate Wines, Inc, and the Agee Family Semper Charitable Foundation. She serves on the Board of AnnieCannons, Inc., the Emeritus Board of FADICA and the Board of Overseers for the Aquinas House at Dartmouth College. She also serves as a Fellow of the Dominican School of Philosophy & Theology at Berkeley, and the President’s Council for Loyola University Maryland.
Board Leadership includes previous service as President of the Culture of Life Foundation and Vice Chairman of the National Council for Adoption. Ms. Cunningham has also served the Corporate or Advisory Boards of FADICA, the Hoffman Institute, the Gregorian University Foundation, the Graduate School of Business at University College Dublin, Loyola University Maryland, Marymount Manhattan College, Franklin Pierce College, Crisis Magazine, the Institute of Business Ethics, and the Salvation Army. She has served on the Advisory Board of the Susan B. Anthony List, the Thomas More Law School, the Sisters of Life, the National Memorial for the Unborn, Women Affirming Life, the Common Ground for Life and Choice, and “Enough Is Enough!", a national campaign to break pornographic abuse.
Mrs. Agee has served on the Board of Directors for Key Bank of Idaho and the Diocesan Board of Stewards in both Idaho and Monterey, CA. She has also served on the Board of the First Women's Bank of New York, the Catholic Schools Foundation in Boston, the Board of Governors of the Music Center of Los Angeles, Idaho Family Forum, Trinity Grammar and Prep and Justin-Siena High School in Napa Valley where she was appointed Co-Chairman of their $5,000,000 Capital Campaign. She and her husband were appointed as Honorary Co-Chairmen of the 8th Annual Hospice Benefit in the Napa Valley and were instrumental in helping to raise over $500,000.
Awards and Honors:
For two successive years, Ms. Agee was voted by World Almanac one of "The 25 Most Influential Women in America." She was selected by Good Housekeeping in their 100th Anniversary Edition as one of "100 Young Women of Promise". Ms. Agee has been recognized as one of the "Outstanding Young Women of America" and is included among the YWCA's Academy of Women Achievers. She was chosen by the HBS Alumni Association as an honoree for the “50 Years of Women at Harvard Business School” celebration which recognized 100 women whose leadership has made an impact in their communities.
Mrs. Agee has received inaugural awards including the John Paul II Award from the Institute for the Psychological Sciences, the Ex Corde Ecclesiae Award from the Cardinal Newman Society, the Ambassador of the Year Award from Legatus, the ITV Woman of the Year Award from the Archdiocese of New York, the Citizen of the Year Award from the Idaho Family Forum, the Archbishop John Hughes Award from Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary in Maryland and induction into the College of Fellows at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkley, California.
Mrs. Agee was chosen by Cambridge Who’s Who as Entrepreneur of the Year in the Not-For-Profit Sector. Among her many awards and distinctions, she has received the Freedom Award from Provo, Utah, the Economic Equity Award from the Women's Equity Action League, Pro-Vita Award from the Archdiocese of Brooklyn, and the Humanitarian Lifetime Award from the Wisdom Institute.
Mrs. Agee received the Centennial Medal of Honor from the Columbus School of Law at Catholic University of America, the James Keller Award from The Christophers, and a national Award by the members of the U.S. Senate and Childhelp USA for her exemplary efforts to assist children and families in need. Her lifetime commitment to charitable causes has been recognized by appointment to both The Order of Malta and the Order of the Holy Sepulchre.
Professional and Political Affiliations:
Mrs. Agee has served as a member of the Advisory Council of the Hoover Institution and the Board of Governors of the Council for National Policy. She has served as a Chairman's Advisor for the Journal of Business Strategy, the Strategic Planning Committee of the Conference Board and the United States Congressional Advisory Board. Her memberships include the Founder's Circle of the Women's Leadership Network, the Women's Forum, the Women's Equity Action League, the National Leadership Roundtable and the International Platform Association. She has presented testimony before the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources and the Supreme Court of the United States. Her affiliations include the United Negro College Fund, Economic Club of New York, the National Association of Business Economists and the American Management Association, the Family Policy Council and the Speakers Bureau for the National Policy Forum.
Mrs. Agee’s local service commitments include appointment to strategically review the General Plan for Saint Helena, CA. She is a Founding Member, Membership Chair, and serves as Vice President of the Napa Valley Chapter of Legatus. Other affiliations include Meadowood Napa Valley, The Napa Valley Reserve and The Battery in San Francisco.
Mary Cunningham Agee is the best-selling author of Powerplay, which reached the New York Times list in record time for a first-time author. Her literary talent was recognized with the Golden Pen Award for outstanding achievement from the Authors' Guild. Her views have been included in several books including American Women Activists’ Writings – An Anthology, 1637-2002, Catholics in the Public Square, Public Catholicism, and Why I am Still Catholic. Nightingale-Conant, the world's largest Audio cassette producer, selected Mrs. Agee for their renowned "Insight" series along with Norman Cousins and Phil Caldwell; a twelve-part series featured her views on Strategic Planning, Management and Business Ethics.
Mrs. Agee's accomplishments in founding and directing The Nurturing Network have been featured in Catholic World Report, Our Sunday Visitor, Lay Witness, Legatus Magazine, National Catholic Register, New Covenant, Human Life Review and the Respect Life program of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Featured articles have also been published in many secular publications including Reader's Digest, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Good Housekeeping, USA Today, and Newsweek among many others. Mrs. Agee received the highest rating as a public speaker from the International Platform Association and continues to speak out with courage and conviction about empowerment for women, the defense of the family and human life, humanizing the corporate culture, and reforming the society at large.
She has been interviewed on many prominent national radio and television programs including: CBS "48 Hours," ABC News Forum with Peter Jennings, CBS This Morning, CBS News Nightwatch, The Phil Donahue Show, The Barbara Walters Special, NBC Today Show, Good Morning America, James Dobson’s Focus on the Family, and Ted Koppel.
Mrs. Agee has addressed such diverse and prestigious organizations as the Commonwealth Club of California, the Young Presidents' Organization, the American Newspaper Publishers Association, the National Association of Accountants, the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the American Personnel and Guidance Association, the Pontifical Athenaeum of the Holy Cross and the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome, Italy. Her speeches and commentaries have been widely published in such well-known publications as TV Guide, Newsweek, Harper's Bazaar, International Management, Working Woman, Industry Week, Conference Board Magazine, The Human Life Review and Vital Speeches. Her views on corporate ethics have been published in Institutions for Projecting American Values Abroad, III.
Mrs. Agee continues to write articles and teach about a culture in need of practical compassion. She is the mother of two children, Mary Alana and Will. She lives in the Napa Valley with her husband of 35 years.
“As we begin our fourth decade of charitable service and launch our new TNN website, I am reminded of the many friends and volunteers who have helped us to bind the wounds and heal the broken lives of over 25,000 profiles in courage. Countless gifts of time and treasure from TNN’s 52,000 volunteer resource members have formed the legacy of love that is the very heart of the Nurturing Network.
~ Mary Cunningham Agee
There are so many people looking for a meaningful, non-confrontational expression of what they believe to be right. The Nurturing Network offers them an effective means for doing that.
The binding of deep wounds and the healing of broken hearts is an intensely intimate and essentially practical experience. The simple but profound truth is that there is no efficient or effective substitute for the private, personal, time-intensive conversations that translate beyond words -- into hope. We welcome you to walk alongside us as we help to build a more gentle and peace-filled world.
“I have intensively studied Mary's program not only its philosophy, but its practical operation and I consider it to be of the highest moral caliber and at the same time structurally sound. I applaud her and her wonderful staff of employees and volunteers who sacrifice so much in the service of women, children and families.”
~ John Cardinal O’Connor
(Founding Ecclesiastical Director)
Our mission is to provide educational resources, inspirational support and compassionate care to the most vulnerable in our midst. We are committed to joining with other organizations in defeating all forms of human bondage.
“After losing our son-in-law in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, I would just like to say that with all the prayers and support and good wishes of everybody, nobody has held our family together more than Molly Marie. Nobody has given us more help to have hope, to have joy, to have innocence, and to move on to look to the future. All I can think about is that this little girl came within an eyelash of never existing. And there are 25,000 families just like ours that the Nurturing Network has helped.”
~ Gerry Roche - Human Resource Executive
( Board Member and Adoptive Grandparent)
“The work of the Nurturing Network has changed my life. I was looking to do some pro bono work that would be meaningful to me and this is perfect! All of the staff members are extraordinarily open and grateful. To be connected to that gratitude is remarkable. To see peoples’ lives change so dramatically is a gift beyond compare. TNN is based in a genuine joy, love, compassion, and understanding. This organization is not only promoting those qualities in others but living them with each person served.”
~ Francesca - Clinical Counselor
(TNN Professional Member)
Our ability to embrace the future with genuine hope and courage will depend fundamentally upon our willingness to more fully believe, consistently live, and patiently teach about each and every person's belovedness as children of God. Let’s joyfully persevere in nurturing each fragile human life -- one life at a time.
"Mary Cunningham Agee is the Founder and President of the Nurturing Network, an international charity that has served the needs of women and children for the past three decades. Her leadership in mobilizing over fifty thousand volunteers has been instrumental in fostering a common ground where effective collaboration and cooperative action have magnified the best efforts of individuals with widely divergent viewpoints."
~ Dr. R Connolly - Physician
(TNN Board Member and Donor)
“The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering.”
~ Ben Okri